If you were searching for grant opportunities ten years ago in the Los Angeles area, you might have stumbled across the Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, a private independent funder of local youth causes. Although this fund has since merged with the San Francisco-based Stuart Foundation and operates as a “grantmaking arm” of the Stuart Foundation, its geographic and programmatic focuses remain largely the same.
Related: Stuart Foundation: Bay Area Grants
This is a great local funder to know because it’s accessible, approachable, and letters of inquiry are accepted all throughout the year. So if you’re working to better the lives of kids and young adults Los Angeles County, these are the top things to know about DSYF grantmaking.
Education & Youth Funding is Broad
There are many types of funding that the youth of Los Angeles need today, and DSYF takes a somewhat broad approach to addressing those diverse and evolving needs. For school-age kids, these are some of the common types of programs that DSYF regularly supports:
- Sports and Recreation
- Visual and Performing Arts
- Cultural Enrichment
- Homework Assistance and Tutoring
- Language Arts and Literacy
- Creative Writing
- Field Trips and Camps
- Career Guidance and Youth Employment
- College Readiness and Educational Planning
- Youth Advocacy
- Youth Organizing
- Skills Development: Leadership, Written and Oral Communication
- Programs Run by Youth
- Community Service
- Peer Counseling
- Peer Education
- Adult-Youth Mentoring
- Team Mentoring
- Peer Mentoring
- Apprenticeships / Internships
It’s All About Los Angeles County
Regardless of focus area, type of program, or type of support, pretty much all DSYF funding stays in Los Angeles County. You can find a list of organizations that have gotten DSYF’s support in the past on the foundation website, including both program/project funding and general operating support.
One example of a rare exception is DSYF’s support for the Chuck Gates Youth Golf Endowment, which is based in Idaho. The fund has given at least $70,000 to this cause and been its biggest benefactor. But as a general guideline, only Los Angeles area nonprofits are considered for grants.
Supporter of Youth Arts for Enrichment
Not only did Dwight Stuart Sr. support youth sports during his lifetime, but also youth enrichment through the arts and cultural experiences. DSYF has provided funding to local causes like the Center Theatre Group’s August Wilson Monologue Competition, for example. It has also funded causes dedicated to making the arts core in K-12 public education in Los Angeles. Other art-related grantees from 2015 include:
- Arts High Foundation
- Education through Music Los Angeles
- Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles
- Santa Cecilia Orchestra
To learn more about this funder’s giving in Los Angeles, check out IP’s full profile of the Dwight Stuart Youth Fund. Letters of inquiry are only accepted by mail, and initially-selected applicants are often invited to participate in a conference call interview with the staff.